It seems like companies of all sizes have an annual or semi-annual customer event. But, in some cases the senior customer advocate doesn't have an active role in these events.
So, I've been wondering. Should customer advocates be an active participant in their own company's customer forum? Should they provide input into the event planning, present updates, and interact with customers throughout the event?
Below are four reasons why those in charge of customer listening, the customer experience, and customer insights should be involved in these key customer events.
1 - The chief customer experience officer should be visible and accessible to all critical customer segments. Your strategic customers should know that customer-focus is ingrained in the culture and has dedicated senior leadership.
2 - These events are valuable customer listening posts. Customers often share their challenges, needs, and best practices. Coupled with other customer listening posts, these are great inputs that can help guide future decisions.
3 - The customer perspective and insights are typically centralized and housed by those who are responsible for the customer experience. This information can be helpful in putting together a powerful event that targets specific customer needs.
4 - These events are a prime time to communicate how you are listening to the customer and using their voice to drive the organization forward. The customer experience officer should be a central figure in delivering this message.
If you are involved in your customer events, what have I missed?
Note: This post was originally published in Customer Connection on 9/16/2009.